My Father

Written by Bobby Johns



My heart leaps to the sound


hobnailed boots on the cobbles.


in the dark, sparks fly.

A mighty man is my dad!!

A hug at the door I smell tobacco in the hair

of the Harris Tweed.

He clasps me to his chest,

the flickering fire, in the grate,

makes his face ruddy.

High cheek bones chipped from stone,

his teeth white contrasting the grime.

His hands, the size of shovels, galled and rough,

gently ruffle my hair.

“Ben good ,’ave ‘e?”

I know that he has something special for me.

“ ‘es yo, Dad!”

This night, my treat, a meddler, rusty brown

“Pick un m’self I did” he says.

In bed later, under the sheets, with flash lamp held between my knees,


Ghosts of the Spanish Main I nibble on my meddler..

“My dad picked this…for me!!!!”

I hear

footsteps on the stairs, boards creaking on the landing,


door opens candle light licking the walls of my room.

Nightgowned dad shuffles to my side, bends and kisses me.

“night boy, God Bless ‘e.”

His deep voice drones in his room, my mother’s voice high,


laughs dad always likes to make mammy laugh

makes him feel good.


the house “ticks” in contracting silence, ridding the stress

of the day.

Ranter’s knee bangs the floor as he flea scratches.

I get out of bed;

I kneel in the window seat watching the shadows play

beneath the gooseberry bush, from whence I came.

Many are the times, my mom would say….

“We found you right there, there beneath the lower bough.”

I’m so pleased they found me.

But how did I get there?!

I could have been taken by a wolf, or worse,

I could have been found by my friend’s dad,

and have missus Cock, for a Mom.

I shudder.

Thank you Dad and Mom for finding me,

and keeping me!

Back in bed, sheets to my nose, I look at my little room’s, walls

covered with my comic book heroes,

motorbikes, sports cars

Rupert Bear and Bobby Bear.


always worries me that my name is taken by a bear.

Good night God, Bless my family and please one day

make me like my Dad.

He did!!!

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